Shamelessly celebrating...

Dear Reader, this is my birthday week. This year I am shamelessly celebrating, so everything in this week's journal will contain the word 'birthday' as a tag. I have already organised a birthday breakfast next weekend, and told my friends they have to bring presents.

 My cat-company for today.
GInger Percy in the Sunshine

But there's a big catch - all the gifts have to be food items suitable for the Salvation Army's local food bank, hee hee. All I want for my birthday (apart from birthday compost) is for goodness and peace to come to the fore, in everything that everybody in the world does. Too much to ask? Well then - how about a great life for all the gardening cats in the world, and a tree house for the Willow Stump, while I'm waiting?

Sunday 4th September

So who was the clever gardener who planted a tiny patch of new daffodils just where the early morning sum would light them up at exactly their time of blooming? Me, hee hee, and I didn't have a clue what I was doing! This is the pseudo-inspired stuff that garden magazine articles are made of, where the gardener interviewed claims it was deliberate. Mmmmm....

 Spiky in the sun.
Rip Van Winkle Daffodils

Basking in the glory, drinking my morning cup of tea, I wonder where I should work in the garden today? Perhaps clear the top of the Wattle Woods, where the beautiful pink and red Camellias are still flowering, and spread compost. That would be nice. Then I can get more birthday compost. And talking of birthdays, I've found three rather craggy garden gnomes for auction, and it's my birthday week. Aha! Birthday gnomes!

Much Later...

I remembered that the Hen House Gardens were next on my Promise-You-Compost list. So I trundled back and forth, and also dug out the ash pile from my bonfire to heap onto the garden. I also did several little things. Too little to mention? No way!

  1. I positioned some potted red Cordylines on tree stumps in Middle Garden. A path curves past this new, delightfully easy-on -the-eye feature.
  2. I trimmed the ex-rockery behind the garage - 'ex' because someone (me) planted things here that were heaps too big.
  3. I dug out and divided a Yellow Wave Phormium. I now have two nice new pots of this flax.

And then I burnt my rubbish, disrobed a little and leapt into the water race to clear ferns and general mess, got warm again by plodding around bonfire in my second best hiking socks, now soaking in wool wash, very very naughty of me...

 This name - I'm 90% sure of it!
Plantation Pink Camellia

It's been a wonderful spring day, another one - I am so spoilt. More Camellias are flowering now, including the wonderful Pink Plantation behind the garage. I love Camellias - even the oddly coloured Jury's Yellow, not the most popular colour (a beigy caramel) for a Camellia.

Monday 5th September

I've spent a slightly slow day in paradise today, finishing my work rather early. But I've worked so hard since spring appeared, and anyway it's my birthday week.

Festivities so far include a birthday dentist visit on Wednesday (Non-Gardening Partner's present, hmm...), a birthday hike to Washpen Falls on Thursday (with a special birthday picnic lunch provided), a birthday breakfast on Saturday, more birthday compost, and a birthday visit from Daughter of Moosey. Yippee!

Aargh! Birthday Guilt!

Aargh! Birthday guilt I do not require. I feel so guilty about today's early retirement that I'm going back outside to sow some seedlings in the glass-house and dump some compost on the Camellias behind it. I know they're busy flowering, and maybe this is the wrong time, but they have to get it when I've got it, so to speak. Back, redeemed, in an hour or so.

 Big trumpets.

Tuesday 6th September

Today I am doing Birthday Gardening - all day. But first, some self-organisation. Responsible seed sowers do NOT slurp water on their miniscule charges from a wobbly bucket. They use a fine misty spray bottle. OK - I need one. I've sown most of my heirloom tomatoes, lettuces, and my own flower seeds (though the white Clary Sage packet seemed to have little of substance in it). And another thing - responsible seed and rooted cutting growers check their glass-house at the end of every gardening day. No - absolutely every day, even if they are all dressed up going somewhere else.

Memo to Self...

While I am busy writing self-memos, I've thought of another. I need to organise more cuttings. Nature will create plants from cuttings for free, so work with her. There's always plenty of spaces for daisies in my flower gardens later in the summer. And lupins in late spring. And delphiniums (I'm thinking basal cuttings here).

More Birthday Compost?

And there's another thing. Should a gardener require more Birthday Compost, she needs to use up the load she's got, rather than have it mouldering in the back of the trailer. That's my first job for this morning - the Camellias at the top of the Wattle Woods have been patiently waiting for a while now.

 A wonderful place to be in spring.
Spring Wattle Woods

Later, Morning Coffee Time...

I can't describe how lovely it is spring gardening in the Wattle Woods. Windless, gently sunny, dappled shade, a sense of regrowth, Camellias flowering above, Hellebores below... Can I use the word 'magical'? Wish I had better words to describe this wonderful time of year in the garden.

'The more I see, the more I see...'
-Moosey Words of Wisdom.

And the more I see, the more I see, if that makes any sense at all! More things are flowering every day, the spring season is accelerating, but I'm keeping up with it. There's more light, more green growth...

Morning coffee is now to be taken on the top Wattle Woods seat, underneath the Aralia, with young Minimus my grey cat providing skittish kitty-company. I am blessed. Cats, a lovely dog, and a magical garden...

Six Gardening Hours Later...

Oh yes - six of the finest gardening hours I've spent this week. I spread compost, like I said I would, but best of all I cleaned up the stretch of the water race edge where the waterwheel sits. So I trimmed ferns and Phormiums, and divided and replanted the long row of Renga Renga (rock lilies) by the path. I also limbed up a couple of self-sown Pittosporums and pruned others. This area of the garden is leafy green, with the mysterious shapes of the huge Wattle tree trunks, twisting and leaning this way and that.

The Waterwheel :
In the year 2008 Non-Gardening Partner constructed a working waterwheel for me. It went for quite a while...

Unfortunately the waterwheel doesn't go around any more (sob, sob, sniff, sniff) but it's a nice looking wooden object. The water whooshes noisily past and underneath its paddles. It used to turn with a wobble and lift water into a little stream channel...

I cleared the other side of the water, too - another Phormium tenax, plus old leaves and stalks off the Gunnera planted last year. Then, being a good glass-house gardener for at least one day, I lightly watered my glass-house plants and seeds. My day finished with my least favourite but rather necessary spring activity - a huge birthday bonfire.

 These Phormiums were OK, and bounced back after the snow.
Phormiums and Daffodils

I'm so lucky to have a watery stream running through my garden. I'm so lucky in many other ways, too. I look forward to such little things with big joy - crocheting some more rows of my woolly blanket for Pond Cottage, for example. Officially it's three quarters finished, and ginger cat Percy is besotted it. He sits all over it in the evenings, kneading with his claws. My blanket has the cat-seal of approval!